Food Security and Food Justice Video Presentation by Megan Blake

The University of Sheffield recently engaged a new form of teaching for level 1 students. Known broadly as Achieve More, all first year students (nearly 2000) in the Faculty of Social Science were given a programme of talks on key issues and undertake some investigative challenges that would be completed in within the week.  There are 8 groups of students (with 7 in each group), who are working on projects with me concerning the food landscape of Sheffield.  I also gave one of the talks. The video of it is available here.

Food Security and Food Justice Achieve More talk–Megan Blake

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We need to talk about hunger

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If you look through the door of my pantry you will see a window into my world.  My pantry expresses my likes and dislikes and my cultural background by the presence and absence of certain goods. You will also see that in my house, we are not hungry.  I have been hungry in the past.  I plan against this by stocking up for the possibility that there might come a day when I might not have money.  It isn’t an entirely rational approach to domestic food provisioning as it is a practice that produces waste.  But, I always know where my next meal is coming from.  And I also know I am lucky to be able to be so potentially wasteful. My household budget is shaped by my past experience of hunger.  I am sure I am not alone, but for some reason hunger is not a fashionable term these days.  What is that all about?

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Metaphor of the down escalator: Zimbabwe and the decent into food insecurity.

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What, you may ask, does a shopping mall in Hong Kong have to do with the food situation in Zimbabwe?  Well, I’ll tell you.  When we first moved to Hong Kong, people told me that Grace Mugabe has been frequently spotted shopping at this mall.  Apparently the Mugabe’s have a house in a development known as The Beverly Hills in Hong Kong. True or not, I am not certain.  There is clear evidence that the Mugabe’s have access to cash and a will to spend it. What is also certain is that the situation in Zimbabwe is still critical as the industry is in free fall (see this report) and the UN World Food Programme is predicting that the upcoming months will bring the worst ‘Hunger Season’ in years (see the report (here). Continue reading